Saturday, December 24, 2011

FOR UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN!

I sing the birth was born tonight,
The Author both of life and light…

For as long as I can remember, every Christmas Eve I go outside for awhile and look up into the night sky. Some years, the snow is coming down so fast all I can see is a rush of white. Other years, it's sleet, which stings my face and eyes. A few times it's been rain—light sprinkles or a hard downpour, and I'm soaked in moments with cold water running into the neck of my shirt.

Yet more often than not, when I look up late on this twenty-fourth of December, I see stars—maybe just a few, the brightest ones if the night is hazy, or ones that appear, disappear, reappear if there are clouds and a light wind. But sometimes, like tonight, the sky is clear and filled with their gleaming points of light, like a king's ransom in diamonds strewn across the velvet-blue heavens.

It is so beautiful and I am so moved that my heart overflows. If you asked me what I'm looking for up there in the cold night sky, I would tell you I'm looking for Christmas. And I'll tell you true…no matter whether it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or clear, regardless of whether the wind is blowing or calm, or the temperature sub-zero or shirt-sleeve warm, I always find what I'm after. Because some two-thousand years ago, in a place far away, a baby was born in the night—born in love, given to die that I might have grace; a baby whose life would change the world forever.

Christmas is not just a holiday or a date on the calendar; it's certainly not simply a mood, and it's more than a spirit. Christmas is a gift, the greatest of all gifts. The older I get, the more I appreciate that fundamental truth.

To each of you, I wish you the best and merriest of Christmases ever! I hope your day is filled with love and joy and laughter, and your heart be given peace.
———————

17 comments:

AfromTO said...

Joyeux Noel!Très bonne fête!
As half of us up here would wish you.May there be many more Chistmas night skies for you to look up to.
Have a calm and fruitful New Year!
big hugs to you.

George said...

Heartfelt and beautifully written, Grizz. To see the light in your heart is gift enough for me on this Christmas Day. May your own Christmas Day be filled with laughter, love, good food, and the other blessings that always draw the grateful eye to those star-filled skies.

Bonnie said...

May all your days be merry and bright dear Grizz.

Grizz………… said...

AfromTo…

Thank you so much, and a big Christmas hug right back. I hope your day was one of joy, your sky lovely. I appreciate your friendship and your wonderful talent. Merry Christmas!

Grizz………… said...

George…

I have been so blessed to once again have Christmas to savor from dawn until darkness. What a gift! Please believe I thank you so much for your words, for I know they come from the heart of a kindred sojourner who seeks life at its utmost. I have indeed enjoyed a lovely Christmas, and I pray the same for you, my friend.

Grizz………… said...

Bonnie…

Thank you. I appreciate your words, always, and hope your Christmas was one of beauty and joy. Thank you for being my friend.

Brenda said...

Beautiful sentiment, Grizz. Haven't stopped by for awhile and am glad I did on this peaceful Christmas night so I could reflect on your thoughts. Hope your Christmas was peaceful and joyful!

Grizz………… said...

Brenda…

Thank you for stopping by, and for your nice words. I did have a good Christmas as it was spent with family—a huge late breakfast, opening gifts, a whole day together, then as it grew dark once again, a wonderful supper, and even an additional hour beyond. It's great to share meals, and give and receive gifts—to see faces alight in pleasure—but when it comes right down to it, nothing beats Christmas with family and friends. I am so blessed.

I read your post, and it sounds like you had a lovely Christmas, too.

Again, thank you for stopping by for a Christmas visit.I hope you find your way here again soon. You're always welcome.

Merry Christmas!

Hazel said...

Love your spirit Grizz, and the gift you have of sharing it with us.

This is indeed the most beautiful of season's to be pondered, savoured, and rejoiced in.

May your child-like wonder continue to grow, and to enrich others.

Robin said...

Oh, Merry Christmas Grizz... to all of you. Your post reminds me of one I didn't write. Maybe I will. Still.

Grizz………… said...

Hazel…

Sometimes when I sit down to write a post, I want so much to be able to convey in words what I feel and experience—the spirit or essence of a moment, the exact slant of light, the way the wind moves in the trees or the river sounds as it journeys along. I know I mostly fail miserably at this task. Words can neither describe nor express the beauty of God's earth through the seasons—at least my meager talent is not enough. What I do hope is that my love and wonder of all this, including the life I'm so blessed to enjoy and the gratitude I feel just being allowed one more day and opportunity to share that with others…I hope that comes through.

I truly, truly hope these little posts mean something in that way to readers. And I thank you for your kind and encouraging words.

My the spirit and joy of the season fill your heart through the coming year!

Grizz………… said...

Robin…

I want you to know you were a guest of sorts at our table yesterday—as I told how in your last post you'd recently been so wonderfully and unexpectedly blessed by various women…and how, if only you lived closer, I would have liked to invite you to share Christmas here, with us, on the riverbank. You were also in our prayers—as were other friends and family members—as we said our grace before eating, because if you're in our conversation and minds and hearts, you ought to also be in our prayers. I trust that is okay.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and old ghosts didn't drag in their chains of bittersweet memories. That your day with filled with quiet joy, and you night with healing peace.

Write that post…and that other one, too, you know?

Val said...

that is so beautiful - i love star gazing and your description of the kings ransom in diamonds; so many people miss this due to light pollution. ironic i suppose that they replace stars with christmas lights. hmm. anyhow a beautiful thought provoking christmas post Grizz - thank you so much! and may the blessings of the season rain down upon you and yours. Vx

Grizz………… said...

Val…

One of the reasons I so love visiting the country along the shores of Lake Superior, is the pleasure of camping in the most remote, back-in sites I can find, and sitting nightly beside a small campfire, fragrant with burning pine, and looking up into that vast northern sky so filled with countless stars and the great wide swath of the Milky Way. And unfortunately, you're right in that we're fast losing our night skies to light pollution. Last year, there was a program about just that—night, darkness, how it has influenced everything from housing design to social customs throughout history, and the fact that natural darkness as our ancestors knew it is practically nonexistent anymore. On their historical darkness scale—with a 10 being how it once was all over the earth before man's intervention, there is only one single area left where a true 10 can be found; only a small area in the U.S. that rates a 9, and only one or two 8s. The same is true across Europe, Africa, as well as the other continents—light pollution is robbing us of our night skies and the ability to look up and see what should be visible stars. Even the skies above the middle of the Sahara and the Antarctic are affected. You have to wonder how this will change our future…will even poets look up into no-longer-starlit darkness and be inspired?

Thank you for your words. I appreciate them. I'm glad you liked the post…and I hope the joy and blessing of the season have filled your life, and that you'll find even more happiness during the coming year. Merry Christmas!

AfromTO said...

Dark sky reserves are a good thing"Canada has, by any measure, more protected stargazing sites than every other country in the world combined. In 2009, four new parks joined eight existing locations" "Torrance Barrens, a two-hour drive north of Toronto became Canada’s first designated dark-sky reserve in 1999"RASC has officially approved Jasper National Park’s proposal to become the world’s largest dark-sky preserve, with Grasslands National Park becoming the second biggest. Jasper will also be one of the world’s darkest astronomy parks." Peter McMahon (www.wildernessastronomy.com)
Guess where I sleep outdoors most?the closest dark sky reserve to TO.

AfromTO said...

oh I just realized I didn't have permission to copy that last text from National geographic-please delete or rewrite in your own words.

Grizz………… said...

AfromTOx2…

Neat info. Unfortunately, even the skies above many of these dark-sky preserves/reserves/parks isn't actually darkest dark, especially not toward the eastern half of the continent. (Having just done some quick research, I've realized I had my dark sky scale numbers switched around in my earlier comment, as well as making it a 1-10 scale instead of the correct 1-9, with a 1 being the very darkest on the planet.) What you get in many of these set-aside sites is, at best a 2 , and often a 3 or 4, meaning many objects are are simply not visible to the eye or scope. I hope I'm wrong on this, too.

I don't think you're violating any copyright issues with your brief quotes…especially if they appeared in any sort of news release. Giving credit for the source should be sufficient. Reporters at the various publications for which I've worked would use them this way with no qualms.

Just so you know…I can't edit your comments, only accept or reject. I would have done it for you, necessary or not, if possible. I'll remove your comments if you wish. Let me know. And rewrite the info and I'll pit that up…but really, I think the quote are within "fair use" rules.

Don't blame you for picking such camping sites—I would, too. That's one of those little details that's really important to me and my experience.